Saturday, December 24, 2022

As America Transforms into Venezuela or Zimbabwe, Who will be Our IKE or Neo?

I was in 6th grade in 1976 during America’s Bicentennial.  I played Abraham Lincoln in the school’s celebration, my family parked next to the Pentagon to watch the fireworks above DC and our class visited the newly opened Air and Space Museum.  And of course TV commercials were chock full of patriotic themes from morning until stations signed off with the national anthem.  It was a good time to be an American. 

Looking back I lived in a cocoon of security that comes with knowing that the world was as it was supposed to be, as if God had our backs.  It seemed as if the America I knew was almost predestined, as if it was inevitable that our nation would grow from a scrappy upstart in 1776 to the leader of the world in 1976. America was Manifest Destiny writ large. 

It wasn’t until years later that I would discover that was an illusion.  Although 9/11 had given me a glimpse of the wrinkle in the matrix, it wasn’t until I saw Tom Selleck playing IKE in Countdown to D-Day in 2004 that I fully recognized and appreciated that things didn’t have to turn out the way they did. Embarrassingly, it wasn’t until watching that movie that I discovered Eisenhower had written a letter in case D-Day failed.  That fact was like a brick thrown through the plate glass window of my illusions.  I’d always known, like one accepts gravity without being told, that the US victory in WWII was preordained, but if the guy in charge of D-Day wasn’t certain of victory then certainty didn’t exist.   

You would think that awakening would shake my confidence in America, but it didn’t.  Just the opposite.  Suddenly America’s success was not the result of robots acting in a play written by God, but rather, the result of the actions of millions of normal Americans doing things, trying things, building things, failing and picking themselves up by their bootstraps and returning to the fight… Sure, there were other factors, such as advances of the 2,000 years of western civilization that preceded 1776, bad decisions on the part of other nations and of course good luck and the grace of God, but at the end of the day, in a worldwide competitive marketplace of ideas and ideologies America had prospered because of the efforts of her citizens.  

That puts American history in a completely different light.  Looking at it through that lens, it seems to me that we faced five crucial points where had things gone just a little differently the history of the world would have changed.  While there are literally countless little things that might have changed the course of history, these five stand out to me.

The first was the fight for independence.  In 1776 the British Empire was the largest and most powerful empire the world had ever seen.  The sun literally never set on an empire that included Australia, India, a quarter of Africa, half of North America and the British Isles themselves.  Had things gone slightly differently, America as we know it might never have existed.  Had the British ruled over the colonies with a tighter fist in the early 18th century, had Washington lost the Battle of Trenton or had a financially strapped King Louis XVI decided not to support the Americans against the British, the history of the world would likely have been dramatically different.  

The second was the writing of the Constitution and the launch of the Republic.  Had the 3/5th compromise never been made it’s likely the southern states would have formed their own country and North America would have grown into a fractured continent like Europe with all its attendant inefficiency, shifting alliances and wars.  Had anti-Federalists not pushed for a Bill of Rights, American freedom and prosperity would likely never taken root. Had Washington, Adams or Jefferson had tyrannical tendencies they could have smothered the new Republic in its bassinet.  Had America not emerged as a Republic from the chaos of the late 18th century the world would likely have been dramatically different.

The third point was the Civil War. Had Grant’s genius not brought victory at Vicksburg, the British not resisted calls to support the South or Sherman not taken Atlanta, the South may have been victorious or at least been able to negotiate a settlement rather than surrender.  In either case the history of America and that of the world would likely have been dramatically different.

The fourth point was WWII. Like me, many Americans take for granted that the US was going to win the war. That of course is not true at all.  Countless events could have changed the outcome.  Had American cryptographers not deciphered Japanese code revealing plans for an attack on Midway, had the British not persevered during the Battle of Britain, eventually giving the Allies a base from which to launch D-Day, or had Hitler not invaded Russia or micromanaged his generals, the world would likely look dramatically different than it does today.

Which brings us to the fifth critical point in American history.  Unlike the first four, this is not in the history books, but rather is being written today. There are essentially two directions the United States can go forward from 2022.  One is a course correction that puts the nation back on the path that created the greatest prosperity in human history.  The other seeks to destroy the very things that created the greatest prosperity in human history.

Most Americans assume that things will just work out. That marriage can be changed from a man and a woman to something else and we’ll all just get along.  That society can discriminate against white Americans in the name of diversity or equity and they’ll happily acquiesce.  That millions of uneducated, unskilled people from third world countries can invade our country and there will be no negative impact on society.  That trillions of dollars can be diverted to the fiction of prosperity powered by “green” energy and electricity will remain plentiful and gasoline will remain available.  That the media and education establishments can perpetually disparage America and her heroes and somehow patriots will continue to risk their lives to protect her. That criminals can be allowed to commit crimes with impunity and citizens will go on as if nothing had changed. And finally, the government can stifle free speech and rig elections and no one will do anything about it.  Most Americans will say that those things are just politics and everything will work out. It always has before…

But that’s simply not true.  Things never just work themselves out, particularly on the big things.  People pull together and work hard to make things work out.  But when a population is turned against itself, when a nation’s government sees half its population as the enemy, when children are taught their country is evil and is putting the future of humanity in danger, not only will things not work out, but that nation will eventually collapse.  Balkanization is literally the only outcome, and the side with the government on its team will likely crush their opponents. Then, after patting themselves on the backs, the victors will themselves become balkanized and the process will begin again. That never ending cycle results in prosperous nations becoming Venezuela or Zimbabwe, with a tiny cabal of elites controlling a vast population of serfs toiling away in search of scraps. 

That is America’s future if we remain on our current path. The question is, who will be our IKE or our Neo?

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

America 2022: Mutilating Children to Further a Leftist Narrative

I was about 15 the first time I fell in love. It wasn’t until 25 years later, that I finally got married. It wasn’t that I hadn’t tried to get married before, because I had. I asked someone to marry me when I was 17. She said no. I asked 3 more girls over the next decade, same result! The funny thing is, in each of those torpedoed proposals, the girl was right. It would have been a disaster. Sure, I was in love, but it’s clear to me today that things would never have worked out.  

Every one of those relationships and others involved a roller coaster of emotions. The heart pounding that’s associated with anticipation or the satisfaction of landing that first date or the joy of that first kiss or the awkwardness of a rejection or the heartache of a break up.

Indeed, my hormones were racing ahead of me much of the time and once caused me to do something so out of character that I cringe about it today. To my great shame I once obliquely threatened to kill a man because my girlfriend lied and claimed he’d raped her. By the grace of God I discovered the truth long before anything terrible happened, but it’s a demonstration of how hormones and emotions can cause some of us to do things that we might later regret.

Most of this heart driven chaos happened when I was ostensibly an adult. Part of the reason I’m convinced that things would never have worked out with those other girls was that I had zero idea of what the hell I wanted to do in my life. Not in college. Not in the Army. Not even as an entrepreneur. I was all over the map, from managing at a superstore to bartending to moving boxes in a warehouse; I was a living embodiment of what today they call ADHD or what we called hyperactive when I was a kid.  

Eventually I smartened up and decided to jump, and thankfully the greatest woman I know was there to catch me when I did. But here’s the thing… it took me, a relatively average guy, almost four decades to make what is arguably the most important decision in my life. I had to go through the chaos of life’s ups and downs, its light and shadows before I figured out what I wanted. I had to go through chaos as it relates to my professional life, my friends, with the things I did for leisure and distraction and even faith before I figured things out. And even when I was finally ready to jump, I always knew in the back of my mind there was an escape hatch… If things somehow went sideways I could always get a divorce and start again.

One thing that was clear however, during all of this chaos that life throws at you, was that I was 100% straight. Never was there a single moment when I thought I might not be. I see a beautiful woman and there’s a physiological reaction that simply doesn’t happen when I see dudes. I can’t imagine what would have been going on in my head if I hadn’t had that anchor.

All of this to say, I was a mess at 25, nevermind at 15, or 12 or 17… I wasn’t ready to make what is supposed to be a lifelong commitment about who I wanted to be with, even though I was 100% certain about the sex to which was attracted and there was an escape hatch available if I blew it.

But in America today there are those who think that children are not only able to make life changing decisions, they are able to make body altering decisions from which there is no return.

Youth is a time of extraordinary angst. Not only are children being introduced to people and influences beyond their families, they’re learning real world application of concepts that are fundamental to the core of our society such as responsibility, choices and consequences as well things as varied as private property, cooperation, risk / reward and privacy. All of this while trying to how to learn to read, write and do multiplication as well as make the varsity team, get a learner’s permit and taking a phalanx of college prep classes.

And as if all of that was not enough, add into the mix peer pressure. Not the kind many adults experienced in the past, such as getting picked on at school then going home to lick your wounds and regroup for the next day. No, today’s peer pressure is unrelenting, from which there is virtually no sanctuary. Kids today live on their phones and there is simply no place or time to retreat to find peace. Unless a young person has the fortitude to turn off their phone, they never get a break.

It is in this caldron of chaos that children are trying to find their way. And below that caldron are the flames of hormones that send temperatures past boiling. It’s at this most confusing time, the most formative and malleable period in a human beings’ life that activists want to empower a child to make decisions about their bodies from which there will never, ever, be a return.

That is not only despicable, it’s criminal. The list of things kids can’t legally do is as long as receipt from CVS. Drink, drive, smoke, do drugs, get a tattoo, quit school, join the military, buy adult magazines and more. So we’ve decided that a heterosexual 14 year old boy can’t buy Playboy magazine but a “trans” 12 year old boy can get castrated or a 16 year old “trans” girl can have her breasts surgically removed! That is simply abominable, and any adults who approve of this are evil and any who participate in it should be thrown in jail. That includes parents of the kids to whom this butchery is happening.

There’s a reason the Founding Fathers put age requirements in the Constitution. Even 250 years ago, before teen drinking and driving, before kids were spending hours a day staring at screens and before kids were being plied with mind altering medicines, the Founding Fathers understood that having the country run by 20 year olds would be a disaster.

Kids who would eat pizza and drink Red Bull all day aren’t intellectually or emotionally mature enough to make medically unnecessary decisions they will be yoked with for the rest of their lives. Sure, some may be confused, but the reality is, lots of young people are confused about a lot of things. Adults should not empower them to mutilate themselves just because their two best friends have decided they are going to be “trans” this because the media elite tell them it’s cool.

Gender dysphoria is a serious condition and should not be considered trivial, but the reality is, most kids will grow out of it, and for those who don’t, they’re more than capable of making a decision about their bodies once they become adults. Cutting and poisoning children for no medical reason is no less barbaric than the genital mutilation of girls in Muslim countries the west so rightly decries. A society that allows this tragedy to occur has no business calling itself civilized. Evil just might be a better word.